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how hot it is on this bright
summer day with crickets
jumping in the grass and
tiny lizards scratching the
dirt. a glass of ice-water
melts on the wood stump
table and I sit to eavesdrop
on birds. a monarch butterfly
arrives flapping about I imagine
after crossing mountains, border
walls, rivers and boundaries on
the way likely to Michoacan. she
pauses on bright yellow flowers,
waits for a little while and takes
to the air again never stumbling
in her long journey. she like me
is a speck in the universe and I
whisper a message for her to carry
for the many miles she must travel
before sleep. the little creature is
a migrant with no name, no passport,
no past tense words and driven by a
southern destination. I say goodbye
to her in graceful flight asking the little
friend to tell the gods along the way to
find me and all the weary in this english
speaking town.

Photo by Logan Clark on Unsplash

Harold J. Recinos

Rev. Dr. Harold J. Recinos is professor of church and society at the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. A cultural anthropologist, he specializes in work and ethnographic writing dealing with undocumented Central American migrants and the Salvadoran diaspora. He has published numerous articles, chapters in collections, and written major works in theology and culture, including ten collections of poetry. His most recent collections of poetry, all published by Wipf & Stock, are No Room (2020), Wading in the River (2021), After Dark (2021), The Days You Bring (2022)—nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in poetry—The Looking Glass (2023), and Tell Somebody (2023). Rev. Dr. Recinos’s poetry has also been featured in Anglican Theological Review, Weavings, Sojourners, Anabaptist Witness, The Arts, Afro-Hispanic Review, and Perspective, among others.

One Comment

  • Jack Ridl says:

    I will place this numinous poem on the wings of every butterfly I see. Their presence is forever changed, enriched—what a real poem does.
    So grateful.